updated 12:30 pm EDT, Fri October 30, 2009
Joins assortment of cases already in action
Apple is facing yet another lawsuit over delayed MMS support on American iPhones, court documents show. Although the feature was eventually enabled on September 25th, the case's plaintiff -- Alabama resident Clyde Franklin -- charges both Apple and AT&T of misleading the public on MMS availability, with promises that it would become an option on the iPhone 3G and 3GS with the arrival of the v3.0 firmware. It did not, and Franklin notes that only a small disclaimer on the Apple website made mention that AT&T support would only come in "late summer."
Unusuals aspects of the case include a complaint that AT&T's View My Message stopgap directed users to open MMS content on a computer, and that the process of upgrading iPhone firmware to enable MMS may require "complex computer skills." Franklin further alleges that MMS support has been "mixed" since September 25th, and that AT&T has been well aware that its network has been unable to handle iPhone traffic in general.
The case is being pursued as a class action on behalf all 3G and 3GS owners in Alabama who bought their phones on or after July 1st of last year. Demands include punitive and compensatory damages, as well as anything that may be available under the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Apple and AT&T have been hit with multiple MMS lawsuits filed across the United States, generally making similar claims. The companies are also negotiating a separate set of charges regarding poor data performance, again suggesting that advertising has been misleading.